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Cleveland City Schools Career and Technical Education

Cleveland’s cutting-edge, rigorous and relevant career and technical education prepares youth and adults for a wide range of high-wage, high-skill, high-demand careers. Cleveland's Career & Technical Education consists of eleven nationally recognized career clusters with the ultimate goal of preparing students for success at the post-secondary level and in  their chosen careers. These programs offer students a direct pathway to college and/or career and lead to meaningful employment. Students in our CTE programs graduate with industry licenses and certifications as well as college credit.


Cleveland City Schools CTE teachers base their instruction on the Tennessee State Standards for CTE. These are grouped into 12 career clusters plus elementary and middle school content. Within each cluster, several programs of study can help students concentrate in a specific area. Each program of study consists of 4 levels/courses, of which a student must complete two in consecutive order to be considered a concentrator.

Shaping the Future


The mission of Cleveland High School’s state and national award-winning Career and Technical Education Department is to provide our students with the STEM, academic, specialized knowledge, and technical skills to prepare them for continuing education in today’s competitive workforce. 


Career and Technical Education (CTE) gives high school students the chance to get a head start on preparing for college and careers. In CTE programs students learn how core school subjects like math, science and writing are used in real-life. CTE students have the opportunity to participate in hands-on training in their chosen program and gain real world experience through job shadows and internships. Many programs offer students the opportunity to earn nationally recognized certifications.


Carl Perkins federal legislation and TN state regulations for Career and Technical Education requires Cleveland City Schools to offer Career Technical Education classes to private school and home school students who reside or attend private school within the city limits. Comprehensive Career Technical Education programs are available in both middle and high schools.

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Renny Whittenbarger
Supervisor of Career & Technical Education
(423) 472-8098

Jennifer Higgins
Administrative Assistant, CTE



In an increasingly complex global economy, all students must be prepared with intellectual, technical, and social skills needed to compete and contribute meaningfully to their communities. For most, this will mean completing some post-secondary education or training; for all, it will mean learning about themselves and the world of work.

Work-based learning (WBL) is a proactive approach to bridging the gap between high school and high-demand, high-skill careers in Tennessee. Students build on classroom-based instruction to develop employability skills that prepare them for success in post-secondary education and future careers. Through experiences like internships, apprenticeships, and paid work experience, juniors and seniors (16 years or older) may earn high school credit for capstone WBL experiences. 



Raider Evolve is for students interested in owning their own business, or looking to deepen their knowledge of how a business, manufacture, sales, and accounting operates in a corporate setting. Raider Evolve is for Juniors and Seniors and is a multi-operational school corporation managed and operated by students as “hands-on” learning laboratories and career opportunities that integrate different aspects of a real-world environment.

For many students, Raider Evolve will provide work experience by utilizing the keys of building management, accounting practices, communication, supervision, entrepreneurship and leadership skills. Students will learn the basics of welding, fabrication, plasma cutting, laser etching, and will sharpen their skill in creative design, business marketing and advertising and distribution of merchandise. The standards in this course can also be used to promote student participation in a work-based learning (WBL) experience through an internship or other off-campus arrangement. Upon completion of the practicum, proficient students will be prepared to further develop their business ideas into viable ventures, or continue their study at the postsecondary level.



Youth Apprenticeship provides students with specific occupational skills related to electro and electromechanical, as well as valuable employability skills, interpersonal skills, and a general knowledge of the world of work. Youth Apprenticeship promotes the idea that not all learning happens within the walls of a classroom. Experiential learning, not only provides new information and experiences, but also allows students to make a connection between concepts and skills learned in school with applications to real life experiences in the workplace. Students who successfully complete the program have the option of entering the workforce directly after high school with accrued hours toward apprentice license, applying for a registered apprenticeship position, or enrolling in a technical college or four year university.



Clinical Internship is a capstone course and work-based learning experience designed to provide students with real-world application of skills and knowledge obtained in a pre-requisite Health Science course. The course is designed to be completed in a hospital, rehab center, medical office, pharmacy, veterinary office, dentist and physical therapy facilities. Students go to medical setting during the class period and intern with a medical career that they are interested in.



An important part of the development and ongoing support for CTE programs is the use of advisory committees. Advisory committees include representation from business and industry, secondary school/career center partners, adult education, postsecondary faculty and administration, and four-year institutions. Business and industry are critical partners because they can review the curriculum and inform faculty about the current knowledge, skills and abilities that students need to be successful in the workplace. Development/changes to curriculum are substantiated through this critical form of feedback ensuring graduates can meet the needs of employers. Many CTE programs offer students the opportunity for internships and our business/industry partners support the programs by offering internship opportunities to our students. Secondary education partners and four-year educational institutions can work together to create a smooth transition from institution to institution. This partnership allows students to begin college-level course work in a career field with a highly developed support system to ensure success.

Our partners help prepare our future workforce by sharing their expertise, time and resources through:

  • Internships & Job Shadowing 

  • Classroom Guest Speakers

  • Mock Interviews

  • Curriculum Review

  • CTE Advisory Council Membership

  • Student Competition Judging

  • Mentorship

  • Donations for program equipment, certifications, scholarships, & registration fees


Our Partnerships

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